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The Ending Of Lyle, Lyle Crocodile Explained

"Lyle, Lyle Crocodile" was one of the best family movies of 2022 and featured a widely-known pop star (Shawn Mendes) voicing the titular croc. Based on the popular children's book series featuring Lyle by Bernard Waber, the film follows the Primms, a family of three who moves to New York City to start a new life together. Not too long after arriving, the family's youngest, Josh (Winslow Fegley), discovers there's a scarf-wearing crocodile named Lyle living in their attic. Although he's fearful at first, Josh warms up to Lyle once he starts singing and Lyle's presence greatly changes the Primm family. However, when Lyle's old partner Hector (Javier Bardem) arrives and the Primm's nasty downstairs neighbor Alistair Grumps (Brett Gelman) complicates things, the Primms must do what they can to protect Lyle and make others see how special he is. 

The film adaptation brought Lyle to life in a unique way, and with Mendes singing original songs written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, known for their work on "Dear Evan Hansen" and "The Greatest Showman," it's got a musical vibe the whole family can get into. After its theatrical run, the film is now available on home media. So, let's delve into "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile's" fun-filled finale and even look at some of the connections the film has with Waber's books. 

A genuine impact

When the Primm family is first moving into their Brownstone in the Big Apple, there are some rough patches that come with the new environment. Josh feels incredibly alone and struggles to make new friends. Mrs. Primm (Constance Wu) has some parental woes, being worried for Josh in this new city and feeling a little empty now that Josh is growing up. Even Mr. Primm (Scoot McNairy) deals with his own issues at work, unable to find his confidence and sense of control with his unruly class. The Primms are definitely in need of some inspiration and personal growth, which is exactly what Lyle gives them. 

Although they're all a little fearful of Lyle at first, with Mr. Primm even willing to hop out a window just to get away from him, each family member is able to find new expressiveness and energy through Lyle. Josh finally feels like he has a real best friend that pushes him past his fears and legitimately cares about him. Lyle helps Mrs. Primm feel inspired through a song sequence in the kitchen that ultimately reignites her creativity. As for Mr. Primm, Lyle makes him remember his wrestling days, which helps him relearn how to be in control and find his own strength. Lyle is sort of that missing piece that the Primms didn't know they needed, and it's why he pretty much becomes a part of their family. 

Mrs. Primm's painting

After Lyle inspires Mrs. Primm to find some new self-interests, we see that she starts to show a new creative side of herself. She's going on adventures with Josh and Lyle, while also doing some new activities around the house. One of the more intriguing new interests Mrs. Primm has is painting and Lyle ends up being the perfect muse for her. There's a scene where she's painting Lyle on a couch, and it's not long until the wall by the stairs is filled with paintings of Lyle. 

Mrs. Primm's art style is noticeably unique with her giving Lyle an incredibly adorable look and using bright and vivid colors to evoke his genuine happiness. The choice of this style isn't exactly random though, as these paintings are actually clever nods to the art of the children's books. Warber's illustrations are channeled perfectly in Mrs. Primm's paintings, and it's a great way the film pays respect to Warber and the books that inspired it. It's honestly such a warm and playful style that it would probably be great to see an animated film with it, but for now, it's simply a cool reference that fans of the book can easily enjoy. 

Hector's not so heroic return

At the start of the film, it's easy to become connected with Hector and Lyle's bond. With Hector not being able to find the time in the spotlight he so desperately craves and Lyle being trapped in a dingy exotic pet store in need of a friend, there's something really special about seeing these two come together. However, you can't help but wonder if Hector is really only in it for the stardom since once Lyle freezes onstage, Hector leaves Lyle to stay in the attic by himself for quite some time. 

Eventually, Hector manages to return home, but his sense of importance hasn't really left. He treats the Primms, mainly Mr. Primm, like servants, and if it wasn't for some random clause in the home contract that allows him to live there for a short period of time, there's no way the family would put up with him. Plus, his motivation for returning becomes clear as Hector tries to train Lyle to be a star again in the hopes that his dream of becoming a beloved performer can still come true. 

A nosy and nasty neighbor

From the first scene he's introduced in, the Primms' downstairs neighbor Alistair is shown to be less than thrilled by their presence. With his strange-looking cat, Loretta, he instantly berates the Primms, telling them that they better follow all the rules or he'll complain up a storm to get them evicted. If it was up to Alistair, he'd rather have no one living above him at all. He's a constant thorn in everyone's side, and while there isn't an exact motivation given for his behavior, it's clear why Alistair is like this. 

He's simply a control freak that wants everything exactly how he wants it and someone who will use any power at his disposal to get what he wants. There's even a point where he tries to hold a community meeting to try and get others to turn against the Primms. It only backfires on him though, as Hector mentions the security cameras that Alistair set up. Once Loretta eats some bad shrimp and throws it up after hanging out with Josh and Lyle, Alistair basically goes on an all-out mission to kick Lyle and the Primms out of their home. There are no feelings Alistair cares to spare, and he's literally the kind of neighbor no one wants to have. 

Alistair and Hector's agreement

Even while Hector's reunion with Lyle is gleeful and pleasant at first, there's something that Hector is hiding. Mr. Primm sees Hector thrown out of a car at one point by people whom he owes money, and his desperation to see Lyle be a star alongside him is definitely suspect. When he comes home after Lyle gets stage fright again, there's a disappointing tone to Hector's voice that doesn't go unnoticed. So, even though Hector saves Lyle by getting the community to turn on Alistair by revealing his cameras, Hector's issues become the perfect opportunity for Alistair to exploit.

As we eventually learn, Hector is bribed by Alistair with the cash he needs to pay off his debts to call animal control so they can take Lyle away. It's an instant heartbreaker to see Hector turn on Lyle and for Alistair's nefarious desires to come true. All the signs were definitely there for Hector's betrayal, but when Josh runs upstairs to see that Hector has escaped as animal control arrives, you still feel shocked by the outcome.

Taken to the zoo

After Hector calls animal control to fulfill his underhanded deal with Alistair, they show up remarkably quickly and the entire situation becomes chaotic and pretty scary. Because Lyle is just an ordinary crocodile to most, which makes people instantly afraid of him, he's cornered by animal control and even stunned with a stun rod to subdue him. Josh's pleas for him to sing to show that he's not vicious or violent sadly don't help since Lyle gets stage fright again and he's carted off to the zoo to be with other crocodiles. 

Alistair makes the moment sting even more with his gloating and saying that he's going to contact the school to get Mr. Primm fired and his family out of the house. Josh visiting Lyle at the zoo is truly heartbreaking and essentially seeing Lyle in jail leads Josh to have a traumatic panic attack. It's a crushing moment for the Primms and Lyle and one that leaves viewers with a heavy heart heading into the final act. 

The loss of one of their own

Without Lyle in their home, the Primms definitely feel like a piece of them is missing. Josh is no longer as hopeful as he was when Lyle was around, and it deeply feels like he's lost his best friend. The Primms' daily family life really reverts back to how things were before Lyle came into their lives and it's genuinely a bummer to see. Mr. and Mrs. Primm are just as distraught as Josh and even Hector is feeling a little gutted about his betrayal. 

In a montage of Lyle singing while at the zoo, Hector is shown to be feeling pretty lowly about himself for getting Lyle thrown out of his home. It's a big turning point for the film since it really shows how much Lyle impacted those around him. When he's gone, it's like a part of the people he was surrounded by is taken with him and it's a clear sign of how much impact his presence and good heart have. Hector is easily the most impacted, though, since it leads him to take a path of redemption.

No hard feelings

With Hector having some regrets about getting Lyle sent to the zoo, he springs a plan to bust him out and even tries to enlist the help of Josh. However, Hector didn't think the plan through and ends up nearly becoming a meal for the rest of the crocodiles in the cage when he suddenly gets inside. Once Josh spots Lyle though, Hector pleads with Josh to help him get out of this scary situation. But, Josh reminds him of the only one that can help him, and that's Lyle. 

So, this moment makes Hector more honest towards Lyle, as he apologizes for using him and ultimately realizes that the best place for him to belong is with the Primms. He accepts that the best thing for Lyle isn't fame and fortune, but rather a family that loves him, and that's exactly what the Primms are. It's a very sweet moment that allows for some good resolution to be had and solidifies Lyle as a part of the Primms. Although Hector is shown to use Lyle throughout, he's given a moment to accept his faults and help Lyle towards a better future. 

No more stage fright

In an effort to show that Lyle isn't as dangerous as he appears, Josh thinks of one last plan to help others see that Lyle can sing. As he and Lyle escape from the zoo, Josh brings them towards an audition for the fictional televised talent show "Show Us What You Got," which is similar to "America's Got Talent." There, Lyle can sing and prove that he's not some scary monster that people need to be afraid of. Unfortunately though, as Lyle gets onstage, his stage fright resurfaces and everyone cowers in fear at the sight of him. 

However, with Josh by his side, he has someone who will legitimately stick up for him no matter what. In order to get Lyle to sing, Josh starts singing "Take a Look At Us Now," and actually sings it to Lyle to show how much the croc means to him. The lyrics embody Josh's feelings about his friendship with Lyle and it eventually works. Lyle is able to start singing onstage and gets everyone to cheer him on as he delivers an energetic and meaningful final musical number. Lyle's stage fright is a major obstacle for him throughout the film, so it does feel a little fulfilling to see him break past his fears.  

The final decision

Although Lyle puts on a great show that changes everyone's perspective about him, there are still some legal aspects that can't be ignored in his case. He is still a crocodile, and while anyone would hate to see Alistair be right about anything, he does have a point about him being broken out of a zoo. Alistair's mentioning of city regulations that keep animals like Lyle from living in domestic buildings makes it all but assured that he'll be put back into the zoo. However, Hector comes in to save the day once again. 

With the help of Alistair's cat Loretta, Hector is able to find the original deed to the house that was apparently built by his grandmother. In the document, it says that the house was actually given special permission to house exotic pets. This is because Hector's grandmother was also the founder of the New York Zoo and this special rule was established as thanks for her contributions to the city. Hector's last-second entrance once again saves Lyle, and the judge allows for Alistair's case to be thrown out and for Lyle to stay with the Primms. Talk about some wild connections, right?

Happily ever after

Now having the law on their side, Lyle and the Primm family can live happily ever after together and start new adventures. Lyle's first adventure with the Primms seems to be a beach vacation, as they're seen leaving the house to Hector for a little while as they go on a real family vacation. Josh even has a crocodile floatie for him to use at the beach. As for Hector, well, it seems like he might have a new act under his belt. 

One of Josh's classmates Trudy (Lyric Hurd) is shown talking with Hector about her rattlesnake Malfoy, and although Hector dismisses her at first, the sound of her rattlesnake beatboxing instantly piques his interest. Perhaps he might've found another animal superstar. Even better is that Alistair is nowhere in sight and has possibly left the building since Mr. Primm did tackle him and the Primms are shown to have Loretta now. The film ends with the Primms and Lyle singing Elton John's "Crocodile Rock" as they drive towards their next adventure. It's an ending that embodies and exudes good vibes and gives the titular croc a happy end. 

Could there be a sequel?

Now for the big question after the credits have rolled: Will "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile" get a sequel? At the moment, there's no sequel actively in development and no hint that we'll necessarily get one any time soon. However, there are plenty of reasons that fans should be hopeful for one. Against a $50 million budget, the film performed quite well, grossing roughly $104 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo). So, there's clearly an audience that could easily go to a sequel. 

In terms of story potential, it wouldn't hurt to see Lyle return to have more adventures with the Primms, either in the bustling atmosphere of New York City or wherever this vacation is taking them. Frankly, Lyle is such a versatile character that he could probably be put into plenty of fun story situations fitting for the big screen and maybe the next film could take inspiration from Waber's books for the story. While there might not be a sequel being made currently, don't be too surprised if we see Lyle again on the big screen somewhere in the near future.